Saturday, May 15, 2010

That Kind of Day

It was that kind of day - every hour was filled to brimming with minutes waiting to be used up. I was up at dawn and by 7:30 a.m. I'd hung two loads of washing on the line, the floors were vacuumed and washed, and I was rummaging among the gardening things for my gloves. By 8:30, my little cotoneaster shrub had a new home, the blackberries were staked,

and the two heeled in plum trees had been transplanted to a sunny spot next to the fence.

The rhubarb plant needed weeding, and the patio stones were nearly covered in runaway violets. I spent the next hour on my knees.
The vegetable patch is coming along slowly. It is located at the farm behind my cottage and this year my neighbor J and I decided to align all our boxes so we could mow between them. It was a huge project, dismantling all the boxes we'd made the year before, transferring the dirt and cleaning up last year's debris from the paths. I had one last box to stake and fill.
I finished at noon and dragged my weary self home for some lunch and a rest. While I was sipping a cold drink and thinking about afternoon projects, J called. It was bulky waste day at the transfer station and did I want to go along for the ride? I did - my TV had decided to take its own life a few nights before and, as sometimes happens, my electric kettle followed suit. J came over with the wheelbarrow, fetched my TV, and together we bullied it into the back of her car.

As we pulled into the transfer station someone was unloading a futon, neatly rolled and tied. "Look!" said J. "Isn't that on your want list?"

I am modestly famous in the neighborhood for that list. Almost everything that's ever been on it has appeared at the transfer station or on a tag sale table for mere pennies or has been donated by someone who is getting rid of the very thing I need. We unloaded the TV and shoved the futon in its place. It was destined to replace the old cushion on my outdoor swing which had flattened so much with use that it hardly provided any padding against the hard steel frame. I'd been looking for a used futon for months.

The mattress was much heavier than the TV, and unwieldy, but the two of us managed to jack it out of the car and sling it onto my outdoor swing. It was just the right length but hung to the ground front and back. I fetched scissors and we gutted the thing, removing a good two feet of stuffing. After tugging and pushing the remaining part into place, I stitched the cover back up and plopped down on my new cushion, delighted that I no longer could feel the steel bars at the back of my knees.
"You'll never be able to take this in every night like you did your old cushion," J pointed out to me, so rather than take a nap there in the sunshine as I longed to do, I decided to set up my summer screen tent. If it rained, the swing would be partially protected by the tent roof and I could always cover the cushion with a plastic cloth. But of course, the lawn needed mowing first...
By the time the tent was up, the sun was sinking ever lower, it was suppertime, and I was hungry. I went back to the garden for the asparagus I'd seen earlier in the day, cut several stalks and plunked them in a cup of cold water until I'd showered and was ready to make a meal.

The evening air was beguiling, perfumed by lilacs and lily of the valley so after supper I grabbed my camera and took a walk in the waning light. I'd used up nearly every minute of the day.
Goodnight now!


Tabor said...

This has been a really neat day. Exhausting but rewarding!

Brian Miller said...

sounds like you used it in a good way though...have a wonderful evening.

p.s. i love black berries...we have grapes and pears in our yard...may need to start me some blackberries though..

Pauline said...

Tabor - such days are to celebrate!

Brian: Grapes and pears! Perhaps I shall add those next year. The plum trees and blackberries were a gift from someone who ordered them and that moved away unexpectedly. I hope they do well.

steven said...

i love being inside a day that's lived in fullness. they come in all shapes and sizes of course and sometimes it's just one element that makes them feel entirely lived. steven